March 04, 2005

Greek Animosity

I’m feeling good. Last night was a great time, and a great start to what I know will be an awesome weekend. Last night we had a social with a sorority that a lot of our guys know, and a fraternity that we really didn’t know anything about.

The guys turned out to be pretty cool actually. It’s not that I’m surprised, but it reminds me of a stigma that seems to exist in the Greek world. All fraternities are competing against each other, and the sororities do the same. We compete for recruitment, for IFC athletics, for highest GPA, for attention from sororities, and for a heavier presence on campus. There’s nothing wrong with this competition- I see it as healthy and natural. But because of the competitiveness, a lot of the time Greek organizations get really antagonistic about it.
For example, in our chapter, one of our guys may mention one of the bigger fraternities on campus, and we begin to verbally bash them. We imply that they’re a bunch of meatheads, that they’re rude to women, or that they are otherwise un-cool in every conceivable way.

We stereotype our competition in any way that we can. The guys even do this to sororities that we don’t know, or have had a bad experience with. We accuse them of being a bunch of sluts, of being cokeheads, or many other insulting things. Many of these impressions are passed down from the ‘elders’ in our chapter, who may base it on an incident 4 years ago, if any basis at all.

In my experience, especially this year, many of the fraternities are all about the same. We all have our share of different types of guys, as do the sororities and their women. Some are jerks and assholes, and I’ll admit that- but some are genuinely nice and interesting people. It’s a lot easier to insult them than it is to admit that they’re an okay group of folks who we just haven’t met.

It’s really a shame when our crude opinion is so unwarranted. My advice to all the younger Lambda Chi’s is to not let any of the older guys influence your opinion on other Greek organizations. Make it a point to meet them and form your own opinion. With Greek Life at OU struggling the way it is, we can’t waste our time and energy forming crude opinions of others.

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